The Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management received two reports of pea size hail from the Keller and Saginaw areas between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. There were some reports of sirens being sounded in eastern Fort Worth, but emergency management officials have activated no sirens, said Calvin Brown, emergency management officer. The office has seen some lightning strikes which is a cause of siren malfunction. However, there have been no reports of any malfunctioning sirens, Brown said.
The area is looking at some light to moderate rain for the rush hour drive home, said Nick Hampshire, a meteorologist with the Fort Worth office of the National Weather Service. Commuters should expect some light to moderate rain that should start to dissipate between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., Hampshire said. A 40 percent to 50 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms is still in the forecast for Thursday. There is a slight chance that some of those thunderstorms could be severe, Hampshire said. A cold front that stalled out south of Tarrant County is trying to move north. The cold front is not expected to reach the Metroplex, but it continues to make our weather unstable, Hampshire said. — Mitch Mitchell
Turns out, however, that even though it was cold and wet, there was no snow -- even though a weather service sensor at the airport said so.
The device is part of the Automated Surface Observing System, or ASOS, which has replaced human weather observers at airports around the nation. (The ASOS shown in the NWS photo, right, is in Salinas, California.)
Aviation officials started installing the systems during the mid 1990s, but they were met with criticism from some air-traffic controllers who complained that they were misreading actual weather conditions, according to archived news reports.
Apparently one glitch lingers.
"Some times it gets confused," said Steve Fano, a weather service meteorologist.. "Any time precipitation is really light and temperatures are below 38 degrees, the sensor doesn't know if it's rain or snow.
"So it calls it snow."
The weather at 9:30 a.m. was 37 degrees with light drizzle over some areas.
Fano reminded that snow can occur when it's 40 degrees, but it has to be really cold aloft, and that wasn't the case on Thursday.